Browsing Tag

tissue expanders

My Battle with Breast Cancer

Let Me Clear A Few Things Up

ACR_9499
I have to say that this photo has nothing to do with this post.  I just like it. :) 

Yesterday, I posted a photo and asked you guys to guess my location.  You all guessed correctly, but I think I need to explain what I was doing there.

Yes, I was getting a treatment.

Yes, I am finished with chemo.

Part of my treatment plan is receiving a years worth of Herceptin treatments.  Let me tell you a little bit about the Herceptin treatments.  After reading this, I hope you will have a better idea what this step is for, and what it is like for me.

Herceptin treats breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 positive (+), otherwise known as HER2+.  Herceptin is a targeted treatment, and is designed to target cells with the HER2 receptors, which may help cancer from growing.

My Herceptin treatments are every three weeks, and are administered just like the chemo treatments.  They use my port to give me these treatments, and the actual treatment lasts approximately 90 minutes. 

The nice thing about the Herceptin is that it doesn't have the side effects that the chemo did.  I don't have to worry about my cell count going down, my hair falling out, or everything tasting like metal.

So, when I mention that I am going in for a treatment you will know that it is just a Herceptin treatment. 

Thanks for all of your nice emails, and comments of concern.  I am doing great!  Later this week I plan on showing you what the first step of the expanders looks like. 

My Battle with Breast Cancer

Surgery, Mastectomy, & Expanders – Oh My

Tomorrow, I will be going in for my next surgery. 

I have been very open with my battle with breast cancer, and I don't want you to think I have been holding back.  Truth be told, things have just slowed down.  It seems like when I was first diagnosed things happened so quickly, now that I am finished with chemo everything has slowed to a tolerable pace.

Tomorrow, I will be having a right mastectomy and begin the reconstruction process.  The reconstruction process seems to be a long one, and involves a few surgeries.  But, it is all going to be worth it. 

When I had my left mastectomy, I thought my breast surgeon put a tissue expander in at that time but I was wrong.  Actually, he had left extra skin for the reconstruction process. 

Here is what an expander looks like.

Breast tissue expanders
The round grey looking area is where they will insert the needle to add more saline.  The object of all of this is to slowly stretch the muscle.  The muscle? You say. 🙂

This is how it is done.

expanders-muscle

As you can see in the photo above, the expanders go under the muscle. 

When I asked my plastic surgeon how big my oobiebays would be after surgery he said, "You will look like an eleven-year-old again."  We all got a laugh out of that. 

I have to deal with the drains again, but they will only be in a week or so.  Then after a few weeks, I will go in to have saline added to my expanders.  When the expanders get to the size we are wanting, then I will go in for surgery to have the implants put in. 

At this time, I don't know how long this process will take, but I am on the road to a full recovery!

Tomorrow I am posting a game of some sort.  There will be people in the waiting room needing entertainment, the surgery lasts for 3 hours, and I will need entertainment after my visitors leave.  So, be sure to come by and play along.